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Domestic Violence & Abuse - Page 2

Page updated - 13 August 2009


 Most of the following has been copied from a leaflet published by Suffolk County Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum




Freephone 0800 783 5121

Domestic violence and abuse affects people across all social, economic, geographical, racial and religious boundaries. One in four women report experiencing violence and abuse at some point in their lives.

What is domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse can include physical, sexual or emotional abuse. it could involve some of the following behaviour:

  • fear of physical harm

  • deprivation of food, sleep or money

  • biting, pushing, kicking or punching

  • verbal or sexual threatening

  • emotional blackmail

  • isolation from family or friends

  • imprisonment in your own home

  • humiliation or belittlement

  • using you children against you

Abuse takes many forms and can happen repeatedly.

What are the patterns?

Domestic violence and abuse is not an occasional disagreement. It is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to establish and maintain power and control over the other. Everyone has a right to feel safe in a relationship. Do not ignore the behaviour; seek help for the sake of you and your children.

There is no excuse for violence and abuse:

  • you are not the only one

  • you are not to blame

  • you alone cannot change your abuser's behaviour

  • ignoring violence is dangerous

  • break the silence - do not stay isolated

  • there is life beyond an abusive relationship

  • you have the right to live free from fear

Families and violence

Children and young people are affected in different ways by growing up in a violent home. They may feel guilty, anxious and confused and show this by becoming aggressive, withdrawn or ill.

It is best to be honest and direct with them about what is happening. They may feel more secure with one parent in a stable environment away from violence and tension, than with two people in a violent relationship.

Abusers may threaten that if you leave or tell anyone about the violence, the children will be taken away. This is very unlikely in most cases, but if you are planning to leave the family home, you are advised to take your children with you.

Abusers need help to change their behaviour and specialist help is available. The most important thing is that the violence and abuse must end.

What can I do now?

Talk to someone talk you and trust, or ask for help using the helplines and contact numbers on the left of this page.

Make a plan in case you need to leave or get out quickly:

  • find somewhere you can use a phone

  • carry a list of numbers for an emergency

  • agree a code or signal as a call for help from someone you can trust

  • save some money for fares and emergencies

  • keep an extra set of keys for home and car

  • keep clothes, medicines and personal valuables for you and your children in an emergency bag you can reach quickly

  • take important legal and financial papers, and you bank cards with you

  • leave while the abuser is not around

As a friend, family member or neighbour, how can you lend support?

  • take it seriously, voice your concerns

  • offer reassurances and be a good listener

  • don't make assumptions or judgements

  • allow the person to decide what happens next

  • offer practical help, using the advice printed here

Finding professional help and advice:

Contact a Solicitor if you are being, or have been assaulted or threatened. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau, listed in the telephone book, can help you find a solicitor, or ring your local Women's Aid Helpline.

Contact the Police. They will respond, investigate and assist you. For emergencies ring 999, for non-emergencies and advice ring 01473 613500.

Consult your Doctor or Health Visitor. If you have received any physical injury, make sure you get treatment from you doctor or local hospital and ask for a record to be made.

Ask your local housing authority to help you to find temporary accommodation. For advice, contact your local council.

Contact the Benefits Agency to find out if you are eligible for Income Support or other family benefits. Benefits Enquiry offices and helplines are listed in the telephone book.

Domestic violence and abuse is a crime and is unacceptable.

National figures show:

  • one in four women experience domestic violence and abuse

  • on average, three women die each week as a result of domestic violence and abuse

  • children are present or nearby in 90% of domestic violence and abuse incidents

  • a women is likely to have been assaulted 35 times before seeking outside help


Further Information:

For further information about the work of the partnerships, Domestic Violence and Abuse Forums or services available for victims, their families, perpetrators or the wider community, please contact Marianne Fellowes, County Domestic Violence and Abuse Development Officier on 01473 613873 or Email Marianne

Confidential support and information Helplines:

Suffolk helpline -  0800 783 5121

National helpline - 0808 2000 247


Women's Aid & Refuge:

Bury St. Edmunds - 01284 753085

Ipswich - 01473 745111

Lowestoft - 0800 587 7890


Police (Victim Liaison):

Eastern Area - 01986 835170

Southern Area - 01473 383082

Western Area - 01284 774183


Childline - 0800 1111


Family Welfare:

Ipswich & Suffolk Coastal - 07966 982612

Lowestoft & Waveney - 07967 272332

Wet Suffolk - 07966 982611


Useful Websites:

Safer Suffolk

Women's Aid

Domestic Violence

BBC Health

Survivors UK

Suffolk Gay & Lesbian